The City of Vancouver has unveiled its preferred option for a pedestrian and cycle path as a part of major upgrades to the Granville Street bridge.
City staff are recommending what’s known as the “West Side Plus” design option, drawn from a short list of six options, one of which included a path down the centre of the bridge.
The public will be able to comment on the design here starting on Jan. 24.
“West Side Plus was by far the most popular option with the public during two previous rounds of engagement,” City of Vancouver manager of transportation and design Paul Storer said.
The “West Side Plus” option includes an improved, widened sidewalk and a bi-directional bike lane on the west side of the bridge. It would also include a new widened pedestrian walkway on the east side.
It also gives pedestrians and cyclists a view of the Burrard Bridge, English Bay, and the mountains.
Pedestrians and cyclists would access the bridge from Granville Street, while a second pedestrian access point would be upgraded on the Hemlock Street ramp and a flatter cycle route would be added on the Fir Street ramp.
Traffic lights would also be added at the Howe Street and Fir Street ramp crossings.
The design would see two of the bridge’s eight car lanes removed.
According to the city, the bridge’s car lanes are significantly underused, and the eight lanes were originally built when the city envisioned connecting the span to a high-volume freeway that was never built.
The upgrades are estimated to cost between $30 million and $40 million. The city has already budgeted $25 million for the Granville Bridge Connector project.
It says a conceptual budget for the project, which would include the first phase of work, will be presented to council in the spring.
The “West Side Plus” option beat out two cheaper alternatives for the east or west side, along with a virtually identical proposal for the east side.
It also beat out more expensive options to upgrade both sides or to build a raised walking and cycling path in the centre of the bridge.
Dropping the won’t mean the end of a proposed elevator from Granville Island to the bridge, according to the city.
That elevator was being assessed in a feasibility study associated with the Granville Island 2040 plan.